Mid-Day Music Break: Billy Talent


TSN2 to Pick Up Bulk of Free Agent Frenzy Coverage

We don’t envy the position of TSN scheduler.  You basically have to shove all of ESPN’s programming, in addition to exclusive Canadian content (NHL, CFL, curling, etc.) into a 24-hour day, plus some HBO boxing and SportsCentre’s and whatnot.

That’s why TSN2 has become a necessary Godsend.  It helps when covering stuff like UFA day.  TSN’s Wimbledon coverage will only allow 1-hour of Pierre McGuire yammering on at 5:00 PM ET.

However, TSN2 (and we hope, NHL Network) will air coverage from Noon-5PM ET.

Good work getting something on the air!

NHL Players to Go Figure Skating on CBC

CBC Television announced today the first competitors to sign on to participate in CBC Television’s BATTLE OF THE BLADES. NHL Hall of Famer and fan favourite Lanny McDonald, NHL Hall of Famer and six-time Stanley Cup-winner Glenn Anderson, legendary enforcers Tie Domi and Bob Probert, two-time Stanley Cup-winner and HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA analyst Craig Simpson, and two-time Stanley Cup-winner Stéphane Richer will go head-to-head in this fierce competition. These hockey heavyweights will be paired with some of Canada’s top female figure skaters in a competitive and thrilling pairs showdown beginning this October.

“Whatever else you can say about Canadians, they know hockey and they know figure skating—and are passionate about both,” said Kirstine Layfield, CBC Television’s executive director of network programming. “We’re going to bring the two together in a way that’s never been seen before. It’s going to be great.”

CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA’s Ron MacLean and Canadian figure skating icon Kurt Browning host the seven-week BATTLE OF THE BLADES series. Browning’s storied international career and his infectious personality combined with MacLean’s deep-rooted knowledge and passion for hockey will provide viewers with the insight and intricacies of both sports and their unlikely combination.


All-Star forward Probert holds the Detroit Red Wings’ franchise record for career penalty minutes. Domi is one of the most popular players to ever don a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey and ranks third overall in penalty minutes in NHL history.

A gentleman both on and off the ice, McDonald’s contribution to his teams and community earned him both the Bill Masterson and King Clancy Memorial trophies. Simpson’s influence extends from playing to coaching and currently as an analyst on CBC’s HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA. Simpson is the last Edmonton Oiler to score over 50 goals in one season. Richer is one of the all-time leaders in playoff overtime goals and is the last Montreal Canadien to score over 50 goals in a season. Anderson is considered one of the all-time great playoff performers with 214 playoff points, ranking him fourth overall in playoff history.

BATTLE OF THE BLADES is the brainchild of Kevin Albrecht, and development of Sandra Bezic. BATTLE OF THE BLADES executive producers are John Brunton, Barbara Bowlby and Kevin Albrecht. It is produced by Insight Productions in association with CBC Television.

Even Though It’ll Be Insipid, VERSUS Needs to Start Covering the Draft

We all hate “Hockey Central”.  This is a known fact.  But how can we take VERSUS seriously as a network if they refuse to send anyone to the NHL Draft?  

It’s simply one of the steps that the network needs to take.  After the jump are a few ways to make it happen.

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did you want me to thank your wife?

Let’s face it, the NHL Awards are basically a trainwreck. But I don’t even think it was one of those fun and amusing trainwrecks. Like I didn’t get the same joy out of that wreck like I do when I watch Rock of Love: Refilling My Valtrex or Charm School: I’m Out on Parole. The awards were more painfully awkward than the British version of The Office. Instead of documenting the actual awards, I did a fashion critique. Really I like to play to my strengths.

The esteemed Chaka Khan (Chaka Khan) really is perfect for Vegas, justtttt not for the NHL Awards. There was a weird age gap thing going on. The awards felt like 1993, when Vegas was dying because it still thought it was the era of the Rat Pack. Robin Thicke is so smooth and lovely, but uhm more for the ladies I think. I was actually a bit shocked the NHL couldn’t scrounge up Nickleback. Or even Poison. Then to have the wonderful Michael Buble, or The Buble as he is refered to among my peeps, to not even sing was just a crime. He was a good present, better than Jeremy Roenick who I was expecting at some point to talk Twitter or the Facebooks and the power of fans.

I decided the NHL should just toss a bunch of us bloggers in a room and provide an open bar and then the awards can be done like The Soup. Instead of yelling It’s Miley! I’ll just be yelling It’s Avery! Perhaps Wysh will dress up like Mankini. And because he’ll be scraping the barrell for some cred, Gary Bettman will drop in and any joke Joel McHale has ever made about Ryan Seacrest will be applicable to the tiny hockey fuhr. Reality Show Clip Time would just be the best of fights of the seasons. Chicks Man would obviously be a montage of NHL WAGS. Oh and because of short attention spans, it’d be a half hour long just like The Soup. And production costs would be like 127 dollars. And there would be Spaghetti Cat.

Why am I not in charge of more things? Is it because I stay up super late and get up around brunchtime?

Inspired By, Or Ripping Off Others: Glossary of NHL Fans By Team

We’re really lazy when it comes to books.  We still have Dave King’s “King of Russia” waiting to be read.  We haven’t gotten through all of “Searching For Bobby Orr”, though we really want too.  However, we did manage to finally pick up a copy of Will Leitch’s “God Save the Fan”.  It’s a great book, if only Will realized that my generation simply does not give a shit about baseball.  At all.  But there was one section we particularly loved: The glossaries.

Particularly, we enjoyed the glossary for each teams’ fans.  But as we all know, Mr. Leitch isn’t a puck fan in the least, so the NHL’s 30 fanbases were disinvited from the party.  However, we’ve decided to end that now, by doing it ourselves.  Consider it a harmless exercise in comedy and a fun break from your Sunday afternoon.  There’s even a not so subtle reference to the book in there, so we’re double ripping the great Mr. Leitch off.  Enjoy it, after the jump of course.

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On Hockey Writing: Does Old Blood Keep Coverage of the Game From Advancing?

Note: It’s Summer, and we feel the need to write something, anything that doesn’t involve Pierre McGuire.  Consider this the first in a series of semi-serious essays about our thoughts on the hockey media.  Hey, it’s Saturday, so might as well…

There’s the face of mainstream hockey-writing in America, and for that matter, North America.  Sorry, Kevin Allen.  Think about it.  When at least the faces of writers who cover football and baseball (Chris Mortensen, Ken Rosenthal, Jay Glazer) look fairly youthful (Though that’s debatable with Mort) the men (and it’s 95% men if I or you ventured a guess) who cover this sport are mostly Larry Brooks-types.  Look at the Hotstove segment of Hockey Night in Canada.  It’s Al Strachan, Pierre LeBrun, and Scott Morrison if Mike Milbury decides he’s too bored to give Strachan wet willies all day.  Morrison’s the youngest looking of the three, and he’s gotta be in his mid-40’s. 

The question were roundaboutly getting to is: Are hockey writers too old for us to take any notice of what they say?

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